Dangerous Sidewalks in San Francisco

I don’t have statistics for accidents on sidewalks, and if the statistics were right in front of me now I don’t know if I’d believe them.  Personally, the only time I filed a hit-and-run bicyclist report was in 1992, when I was injured just badly enough to get a taxicab to the emergency room.  I’ve been in that particular type of accident on other occasions, but got up and walked away after the bicyclists bolted to avoid being held accountable.  So, I’m led to believe that incidents of this nature are underreported. Many people are unaware that it’s illegal to … Continue reading Dangerous Sidewalks in San Francisco

Whose Vantage Point? And How Much is Our Own Perspective Controlled by it? But I Digress

Disclosure:  This piece appears in slightly different form in a private social media post. Please click the link at the end of this post to read an excellent article in the London Review of Books by Julian Barnes about French Impressionistic painter Berthe Morisot and her sisters, Yves and Edma. The article in the LRB  includes an excellent quotation attributed to Gustav Flaubert: “The story of a louse can be as beautiful as the history of Alexander the Great — everything depends on the execution.” I sensed this piece by Julian Barnes did not embellish unrealistically on the lives of Berthe Morisot or … Continue reading Whose Vantage Point? And How Much is Our Own Perspective Controlled by it? But I Digress

Handling an Estate Sale Responsibly

Disclaimer:  I am neither an attorney nor a professional fiduciary, and I have no expertise on dealing with estate matters.  The concerns expressed in this post are based on personal observations. Yesterday (Sunday), I went for a walk through one of San Francisco’s relatively upscale residential neighborhoods. On my way to the public library branch, I saw a sign announcing an estate sale.  I had to give this some thought, before unwisely deciding I’d stop by the house and possibly buy something. I remembered going to a couple of estate sales, and assisting in one other.  If you have the … Continue reading Handling an Estate Sale Responsibly

The Rainbow Flag or a Gimmicky Toy? Given Marketing Tactics, Some Won’t Know the Difference

(Disclosure:  This post appears in shorter, different form in a private social media post.) In June, I temporarily removed the rainbow icon from my Twitter profile.  It was Pride Month, and in theory that was one of the best times to keep it visible. I removed it after a day of window shopping in Downtown San Francisco.  Clothing stores in particular were displaying the rainbow as the proverbial toy hammer that a toddler plays with: everything in the house required hammering. After seeing the glut of color that was meant to make people like me feel welcome — and spend … Continue reading The Rainbow Flag or a Gimmicky Toy? Given Marketing Tactics, Some Won’t Know the Difference

Looking Closely at Conflicts of Interest

This month, Ronan Farrow published an excellent piece on The New Yorker’s site, describing how Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) accepted financial contributions from Jeffrey Epstein after it was clear they shouldn’t have been associating with him. Some people’s immediate reaction may be to ask, “What’s the problem?  They need the money, and this doesn’t mean they were abetting his crimes.” There is a problem, though, especially when it isn’t just sincere generosity.  Some charities receive small donations from average people with no implied quid pro quo agreement, and those charities might innocently stay ignorant of donors’ backgrounds with no problems.  However, when the … Continue reading Looking Closely at Conflicts of Interest

Curbing the Public’s Bag Consumption

There are many theories on how to do this. In San Francisco, we’ve had a local ordinance for a while, demanding a ten cent fee for each paper or “reusable” (thick) plastic bag used by customers when they pay for store merchandise.  It’s meant to encourage customers to bring their own bags, or use no bags when buying just one or two things. I got into the habit of using my own bag way before there was a law, and I’ve been making general allowances in my routine to reduce waste since the early 1980s. “Save the dinosaurs,” I used … Continue reading Curbing the Public’s Bag Consumption

An Aging Writer, Finally Learning the Ropes

Like a lot of people who have blogs, I’m a writer whose primary work is not on the blogsite. I write fiction and nonfiction to upload to Kindle, and then struggle to bring these proverbial needles in a haystack to the attention of people who read books on screens. When I tried to promote my first e-book, a novella titled Petra, I showed exactly how naïve a writer can be.  The book itself had oodles of adult-level observations on the human condition, but when I tried to persuade others to read it I behaved like a teenager who was shocked … Continue reading An Aging Writer, Finally Learning the Ropes

New E-Book: Women’s Fiction

Earlier this month, I self-published another e-book on Kindle.  It’s a novelette (approx. 11,000 words) for sale at 99 cents (USD), and can be read free of charge by Kindle Unlimited subscribers.  It’s available in all Kindle markets. Below is the cover image for the book, with a link to buy the title on Amazon.  Click the words FREE PREVIEW for, uh, a free preview. Special Needs will appeal primarily to women, but I hope a few men will find something universal in the story and characterizations.   Continue reading New E-Book: Women’s Fiction